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Morning headlines: Eir to hit customers with second bill hike in a year; Covid tracing scaled back as staff moved to tackle passport backlog

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Here are today's top stories on independent.ie

Eir customers to pay €60 a year more in latest cost-of-living price increase

Millions of domestic Eir customers and small businesses are to be hit with fresh price rises. The higher charges will apply from August and come after the telecoms firm put up its prices for some of its consumers just last September.

HSE scales back contact tracing and transfers staff to help clear passport backlog

The HSE is scaling back its Covid-19 contact-tracing teams and moving some staff to the Passport Office to help clear a major backlog.

Trinity College Dublin breaks back into the world’s top 100 universities as UCD falls but remains in top 200

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) is back in the top 100 of a global university league. Ireland’s oldest higher education institution is rated 98th in the QS World University Rankings 2023, up three places on last year.

Irish borrowing costs spike as ECB gets ready to hike rates and end quantitative easing

The Irish Government’s cost of borrowing on the bond markets neared an eight-year high on Wednesday ahead of a highly anticipated meeting of the European Central Bank’s policy setting governing council.

Builders barred from bulk-selling over 15k new homes to investment groups

Builders have been barred from bulk-selling more than 15,000 proposed new homes to institutional investors following the introduction of strict new planning laws.

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Junior doctors tell of hell of 90-hour weeks and no paid overtime

When Dr Emily Crilly left Ireland for Australia in July last year, she had reached a point where she was “completely disillusioned” with the HSE. Working 12 days in a row had become normalised, there were no dedicated areas to eat on her lunch break, and the use of outdated computers and technology added unnecessary hours to an already long working day.

Ireland v Ukraine: ‘This match is much more than football’ – Irish and Ukrainian fans unite in friendship at the Aviva

Ukraine fans poured into the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, ready to make those at home, living under Russian invasion, the proudest they could be.

Long covid will be the lingering legacy of further waves of virus

Covid-19 waves will come and go, but the legacy of long-Covid will be with us for some time to come. Fatigue, breathlessness, brain fog – we all know there are thousands of people in this country who are taking weeks and months to shake off the virus’s effects.

Minister dangles tax cuts for squeezed middle but warns there’s ‘no magic money tree’

Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys has signalled the prospect of income tax cuts in the Budget to help the “squeezed” middle class.

Ireland not ready for EU demands to ‘bring back nature’, minister warns

Ireland is only weeks away from being hit with tough new EU demands to “bring back nature” – and we are nowhere near ready for the challenge.

Ukraine’s vastly outgunned soldiers now deserting front line as Russians advance

Ukrainian forces are outgunned 20 to one in artillery and 40 to one in ammunition by Russian counterparts, according to intelligence that paints a bleak picture of the situation on the front line.

What does closing the VIP terminal actually achieve?

It may look like a prioritisation of ordinary punters. But what does closing Dublin Airport’s Platinum Services actually achieve?

The Indo Daily: Fuel’s Gold — From car travel bans to fuel rationing, how a doomsday fuel plan could affect you

The Indo Daily: Fuel’s Gold — From car travel bans to fuel rationing, how a doomsday fuel plan could affect you

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